Join the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust as they celebrate Blists Hill Victorian Town’s 50th Birthday with a day of entertainment, activities and lots of fun! The theme for the day is a traditional Mop (or Hiring) Fair.
Beginning back in the 14th century, Mop Fairs were an annual opportunity to match workers to employers, especially in rural areas. Farm workers, labourers, servants and craftsmen would congregate in their Sunday best displaying a symbol of their trade, so a farmer might display a piece of straw, housemaids held brooms or mops, hence the name mop fair. In Shropshire, young women employed to collect ironstone from the waste tips of local clay mines, known as Shroppies, often travelled to London to work from May until September during the fruit and vegetable season in order to earn extra money.
On Saturday 1 April, try your hand at different trades and decide which occupation you may have been employed in if you had lived in 1900 such as:
- Tile making
- China Flower Making
- Brick Making
- Candle Dipping
Throughout the day you will also be able to join in in the parade to mark the departure of the Shroppies and enjoy the music of the Wellington Brass Band. The Town will be dressed for celebration with flags and bunting and the air will be filled with fun and laughter. Visitors will be able to see casting in the Iron Foundry and will have plenty of opportunity to hear about the town’s humble beginnings back in 1973. Activities are included in the admission fee. See: https://www.ironbridge.org.uk/events/